It’s simple. It’s straight. It’s for want of love.
And yea, it’s also my first short story…
For want of Love…
“Arjun…Arjun…” I could hear somebody, in the softest of voices whisper. I turned around, with a great effort, but soon feel asleep. I had minimum energy, for it has been over a week since I ate something. I had been repeatedly haunted by such voices ringing all over the room. I was in utter chaos- lost and desolate.
I had locked myself up in complete darkness, in a room on the terrace. It had only one single door, and a small ventilator, beyond the reach of any ordinary man. Every morning, with sun rays penetrating through the tiny ventilator, came pain and suffering. I resorted to punching the wall hard, or breaking the completed bottles of whiskey to get rid of my frustration.
It had been a week. I hadn’t talked to a human, hadn’t seen one either. My only friend was the over-grown rat which sometimes even bit the dirty rags I was in. Then there were some acquaintances in mosquitoes, flies, and some insects I don’t even know the names of which. The only solace I found was in the trays of whiskey bottles I had brought in before a week, and the cocaine packets I managed to sneak in from the panwallah down street. I wasn’t like this from birth. Circumstances changed me. They ruined me. As a child, I was curious. As a teenager, I was a maverick. But it’s just before a week that I had become like this. My life has changed. My life has been ruined.
It was not my concern then, for I had more than half a hundred bottles of whiskey, despite the fact that I was running out of cocaine. That day, I became restless. With the minimal energy I possessed, I stood up, with the help of a long unused rocking chair. I wasn’t standing still, I was drowsy. My eyes were automatically shutting down, but I was determined that day to see the end of the mosquitoes that have been troubling me since long. In my futile attempt, unknowingly, I had stamped the broken pieces of glass. It hurt, it pained, but nothing seemed more severe than the injury I was inflicted upon a week ago.
I tried to ignore the wound, but it hurt me more. The blood didn’t clot; it had been bleeding for more than an hour. I fell down, to the ground, unable to pick myself up again. I tore my shirt, and tried to tie it around the wound, but it was of no use, as the wound just got worse. I shouted loud, as loud as I could. It was fruitless for I didn’t have the sufficient energy to make it heard. I pulled my leg towards myself, and hit it hard. I tried and tried, to overcome the pain, each attempt going in vain. I closed my eyes, and gathered my senses. It was after a week’s time that I had first done so. I pulled myself up, dusted myself off. I stood on my knees, searching for help. I was frustrated, I wished someone was there, with me, to help me and support me.
I then recalled, a friend of mine, had sat by my side, and offered me a piece of advice. He said he’d be there by my side, wheresoever I may need him. I then said I’d be fine, and wanted to be left alone. It was on the same day that I had locked myself up in the room. It was the last day I had seen a human, I’ve talked to someone.
I cursed my fate; I wished I had listened to him then. It became unbearable. I wished I’d better die. I bent, stretched, and reached out for a small piece of glass I could spot. I grabbed it, and with its help, split the nerves of my left wrist. It started bleeding, yet again. The pain and suffering re began. I wanted to die, but here I was moaning a painful cry. Vexed all the more, I thought it’s useless. I wanted to live, healthier than before and happier than ever.
Just then, an old iron rod fell down from the attic. Was I to thank God? Or was I to thank my friend, the rat for rattling the rod all along? I got hold of it, and managed to stand stiff, on my feet. I limped ahead, but the pain was not letting me move. I felt back onto my knees. Determined, I was, I crawled my way to the door, and had successfully opened it.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. I couldn’t open my eyes for a while. The glare was hitting upon my eyes, directly, after a week in total darkness. I covered my eyes with my hand, and continued crawling. I dragged myself down the steps, and soon came down. The house was familiar to me, the dogs were familiar too. They didn’t bark at me as they usually do. I wriggled forward, not knowing where to go. Everything seemed weird- The roads, the people, the traffic, the sun, and, the desire to live. Only a week ago, I lost all hopes. I wanted to die, but without the courage for which, I ruined myself. After a few paces, I stopped. I couldn’t go further. I was drained out. My eyes shut down. I became helpless.
Something pierced into my hand, and I opened my eyes. The vision was still blurred, but I could make out where I was. I was in a hospital, well taken care of. Soon, things appeared clearer. The first person, I remember, having seen was an old lady, with moist, red eyes, probably in her late seventies. She got up, limped forward, and after a few moments, came in with the doctor.
I looked puzzled, and the doctor must’ve realized this. “Don’t worry. You’re alright,” she said. The voice sounded like a chime. It was the first voice I’ve heard after a week’s time. It’s the sweetest mankind would’ve ever heard of. I slowly got up, fell down on the old lady’s feet and thanked her. I cried, and cried.
Who was that lady? She couldn’t hear, she couldn’t speak, and she could barely see. She neither knew me nor my parents. Still bent on my knees, and touching her feet, I cried. I realized that day that love never perishes. It passed from my girl who had betrayed me to this lady, whom I had begun to love more than anyone else in my life. Yes, love never perishes. It just changes its form. Similarly, man shouldn’t perish for the want of love. Mankind perishes only when humanity does.